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Miami-Dade County uses technology to meet exceptional permitting demands

Florida's Miami-Dade County has a long history of hurricane activity. In 2005, which turned out to be one of the most active hurricane seasons ever seen in Florida, several storms caused varying degrees of damage to the state. When Hurricane Katrina crossed south Florida, it was a weak Category 1 storm on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale before it strengthened in the Gulf of Mexico. Hurricane Rita caused minimal flooding in portions of the Florida Keys before also traveling on to the Gulf. However, in October of that year, as Hurricane Wilma approached Florida, Miami-Dade County was not so lucky. As the storm neared the coast, Wilma was classified as a Category 3 on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale, with maximum sustained winds of 115 mph and hurricane-force winds extending outward 85 miles from the storm's center.

Once Wilma came ashore, according to the National Hurricane Center, most of the southeastern Florida peninsula experienced at least strong Category 1 hurricane conditions. Some parts of northern Miami-Dade County, Broward County and Palm Beach County likely endured Category 2 hurricane conditions.

In comparison, the catastrophic damage caused by Hurricane Andrew, which occurred in late August 1992, was limited to south Miami-Dade County. Although major structural damage caused by Wilma was mostly insignificant, because of the storm's size, all portions of Miami-Dade County were affected. Wilma's sustained hurricane-force winds damaged a substantial number of mostly older roof systems, requiring them to be replaced or repaired.

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